Dragons and Dinosaurs – Connections and Comparisons

It’s easy to understand why someone would want to compare dragons and dinosaurs – both are gigantic creatures with (supposedly) bad tempers and the power to neutralize their opponents in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, both have captured our imagination the way no other real or mythical creature has. Read on to know the similarities and differences between the two:

  1. Science has proved the existence of dinosaurs proved conclusively with the discovery of fossils dating back to millions of years ago. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of dragons, although they feature in the art and literature of almost every culture across the world. However, there is no evidence to suggest that dragons are purely mythical creatures with no basis in reality.
  2. The Barosaurus was a long-necked dinosaur that stretched about 60 feet. Dragons have always been depicted as having long necks that stretched hungrily to incinerate or devour their prey. Is that too much of a coincidence? Remember, dragons in art and literature have been around for millennia whereas the remains of dinosaurs were discovered as recently as the 1800s.
  3. Mythical or not, the dragon isn’t the only flying giant in all creation. There were many flying reptiles that co-existed with the dinosaurs. The Quetzocoatlus, for instance, had wings that spanned the length of a school bus and the Pteranodon might have had feathers on its body. When you compare dragons and dinosaurs, you’re tempted to think they were first cousins once removed?
  4. Dinosaurs had sharp claws that served several purposes – digging, gripping their food, defending themselves against enemies, and so on. Carnivorous dinos had long talons, but their herbivorous brethren had toe bones that resembled hoofs. But not all dragons have claws or even talons. Some spend most of their lives in water and, therefore, have little use for claws, but cat-like dragons that inhabit forests or mountains, and the winged variety, need claws or talons for survival or self-defense. Most dragons in the art and literature of China have been depicted as having 3 or 4 toes with talons, while their European counterparts usually have claws.
  5. Some dinosaurs had horns or spiked tails that were used against their enemies. Dragons, as portrayed in Eastern cultures, often have horns or deer-like antlers – traditional Japanese and Chinese art is full of furry sinuous dragons that use their horns and spiky tails to wreak havoc on their opponents.

Some say that the belief in dragons originated when ancient people discovered the fossils of dinosaurs, while others fervently believe that dragons once roamed the earth and are now extinct. And that led many to compare dragons and dinosaurs. What do you think?

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